On April 14, the National Council of Urban Indian Health (NCUIH) CEO, Francys Crevier, submitted public witness written testimony to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies regarding Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 funding for Urban Indian Organizations (UIOs).
UIOs provide culturally competent health care to some of the 70% of American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) living in cities and are primarily funded by a single line item in the annual Indian health budget, which constitutes less than 1% of the total Indian Health Service (IHS) annual budget. The devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Indian Country proved the dire need for increased funding and resources for UIOs, who have continuously provided services in the hardest hit urban areas during the entire pandemic.
In the testimony, NCUIH requested the following:
- $200.5 million for Urban Indian Health for FY22
- Include report language to allow use of facilities funding to UIOs
- Advance appropriations for IHS
- UIOs be insulated from unrelated budgetary disputes through a spend faster anomaly so that critical funding is not halted
These requests are essential to ensure that urban Indians are properly cared for and moves us closer to fulfilling the federal government’s trust responsibility to AI/ANs.
The testimony will be read and considered by the subcommittee as the appropriations process goes forward for Fiscal Year 2022.